Tema, Nov. 11, GNA - The two authorities of Tema, the Tema Municipal Assembly (TMA) and the Tema Development Corporation (TDC) are engaged in a serious battle over who should be in charge of development planning of the municipality.
The issue is adversely affecting development of Tema, as the TDC has encroached on almost all the development plans of the TMA, Mr Samuel Evans Ashong Narh, Tema Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) complained at a day's round table conference held at Tema on Wednesday to find ways to facelift Tema to enhance business and tourism.
It was organised by the Tema Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry in collaboration with the TMA with stakeholders as participants. It discussed topics such as the duplication activities by the TMA and TDC, Assembly's plans/programmes for the facelift exercise, waste management, and plans to relocate residents of sites one and two. Mr Narh said the legislative Instrument (LI) of the assembly makes the assembly the final authority over planning of the city but the TDC ignores this role and goes ahead to re-zone areas for planning without consulting the TDC.
He explained that though the TDC had been in charge of the planning of the city for years, this came to an end with the advent of the Local Government, now Municipal Assembly but "TDC is saying we have no say".
"The TMA and the TDC will fight over the issue, we will dialogue, jaw, jaw till we gain the upper hand because we have earmarked places for development but we cannot get it done, because of the encroachment by TDC".
The MCE said TDC development plans must conform to the master plan of the TMA, which is in control but the TDC refuses to recognise this role.
Mr Narh said Tema is the only planned city in Ghana and second in the West African sub-region after Abuja in Nigeria but is beset with over population, thus contributing to the sanitation problems, which the assembly spends about 350 million cedis a month to solve. This calls for the doubling of rates and fees and urged residents to be responsible enough to pay their property rates promptly for development of the area.
According to him, plans were underway to decongest Tema to develop the rural areas.
Reacting to inscriptions written on unauthorised structures by the TMA, the MCE said the TMA does not write numbers on them but only issues licence to operate business at a temporarily site.
"The operators themselves turn round to write those licence numbers on the structures making it to appear as if TMA does them". When contacted on the planning issue, the Acting Director of Development of TDC, Mr William Acquah said the TDC does not consult the TMA when planning because it operates on its own, adding, "by law we can do our own planning".
The TDC has since 1952 been operating within the 63 square miles acquisition area released to it by the then government for development. "TDC is operating within the acquisition area so it has not stifled development of TMA, because it still does the documentation, issues permit, while the TMA does the endorsement for a fee". He said in its layout, the TDC allocates areas for development like schools, markets, and shops "so if the TMA approaches the TDC we will grant it the offer".